The five principals of Eufaula City Schools’ various campuses are preaching a similar sermon as the 2019-20 school year begins in hopes of instilling academic success in their students: ‘We are Eufaula.’
The three older grades -- Eufaula High, Admiral Moorer Middle School and Eufaula Elementary, will each have new principals to open the years, while Eufaula Primary and the Early Learning Center have familiar faces leading the way.
Sean Clark actually spent most of the second semester at EHS, so he has familiarity with his school. Brandon Kiser begins his first semester as principal at AMMS, as does Roshanda Lewis at Eufaula Elementary. Kiser has been in the district previously as a science teacher at EHS in the 2016-17 year.
Emily Jackson has spent the last 22 years at Eufaula Primary School, the last eight as its principal.
Deltonya Warren is in her 29th year at Eufaula City Schools, and currently serves as both assistant superintendent of ECS and principal of the Early Learning Center.
Eufaula High School
“The driving force for us is our motto: We are Eufaula,” Clark said. “We are a community school and we want to reach out to the community, and we need the community to support us. We have high expectations for those who walk through these halls.”
Clark said more than half of his 60 teachers are new hires, but with about 770 students in grades 9-12, the teacher-student ratio is very good.
“We are fortunate in this district because we’ve had programs added that have allowed the ratios we have,” Clark said. “Also, when we hire someone we talk about the fit. We hire a good fit that will be here and either lives in the community or is moving here. Again, we are building the ‘We are Eufaula’ brand. It’s something to build on.
“When I was in Ozark, Carroll (High) didn’t have the same brand we represent in Eufaula whether it’s in athletics or something else. We are building something for all to be proud of.”
Clark said the district has allowed his school to add programs without taking away others.
“The support from the superintendent to the board is pretty impressive here,” Clark said.
Clark and his wife, Meg, have two children, Russ, a senior, and Teddy, a sophomore.
Kiser said his school is focusing on “quality instruction,” first and foremost.
“We’re excited to have an instructional coach and two new assistant principals; Tameka Hicks, who came over from the primary school, and Tracy Hubbert, who is from Georgia and has middle school and high school principal experience as well as 34 years in education.
“We are putting in place a new procedure for minor disciplinary actions. We want to make sure that parents are in the loop and feel like they are in the disciplinary learning process.”
AMMS will have about 31 teachers on staff.
“The potential is excellent from everything I’ve heard from people that know the potential here,” Kiser said. “Everybody’s goal is to make a difference.”
Kiser’s wife, Lauren, will teach ninth grade history at Eufaula High School. Their daughter, Ellen Katie, is in the fourth grade, and son, Evan, is a first-grader.
Lewis comes to Eufaula from Demopolis and is excited about working for Superintendent Joey Brannan and Assistant Superintendent Deltonya Warren.
“It’s exciting, but we want to make Eufaula proud,” Lewis said. “Mr. Brannan and Mrs. Warren are taking steps to assure that.
“We are building relationships. There’s so much to being a team player. It takes everybody being invested. It takes a team effort; students, teachers, and the community. We know we have things to overcome academically. We know where we are right now. It takes self-evaluation and reflection on what we need to do for the students to be successful.”
Lewis was particularly excited about the new reading program.
“We are doing things to meet the individual needs of the students.”
EES had about 35 teachers and 574 students.
“We know the importance of getting the community involved,” said Lewis, who said while in Demopolis there was an effort to never let a child go home without a coat in cold weather, regardless of the circumstance. She said the community there gave more coats than needed and eventually began sending packs of underwear, socks and gloves for the students.
Lewis’ husband, Rodney, is the JROTC instructor at EHS. Her daughters are Janiecia Jackson, a senior, and Shantavia Jackson, an eighth grader.
Jackson is also excited about a new program being implemented for math and reading at her school.
“If a child needs to work on getting a grasp on one situation, we will meet their needs,” Jackson said. “We have a new reading series that encompasses everything. It teaches them to be readers. The new math program teaches procedures and the ‘why’ behind it.”
Jackson has only known Eufaula Primary in the last 22 years.
“It’s like my home, I love this place; the children, families and teachers,” Jackson said. “I’m very invested. Anything I do professionally is for that school. Being principal at the primary school is my dream job. I have no desire to be anywhere else.”
She said she is now teaching some students who are children of former students.
Eufaula Primary has 65 individuals on staff.
Jackson and her husband, Matt, have two sons, Jacob, a sophomore, and Ben, a seventh-grader, and a daughter, Juliana, a fourth-grader.
Early Learning Center
Warren has a bevy of experience during her time at ECS, including working at the Central Office, EHS, Eufaula Elementary and the Primary School during that time.
Warren also worked for one year at the State Department of Education as a special services teacher. She is Director of Instruction and has served as the Director of Federal Programs and Early Childhood Education.
Warren and her husband, Jessie, have three children, Jessica, Breanna and Justin.